IE11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Breaking: DMV Names New Chief, Sets Goal for Credit Card Payments

In remarks announcing the release of a report on the Department of Motor Vehicles by the state Strike Team, Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced DMV's new director and chief deputy director and said the agency will shortly begin piloting the ability to accept credit card payments.

This story has been updated. 

The California Department of Motor Vehicles will gain new leadership starting next week and will begin adding the ability to process credit card transactions later this summer, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday, announcing the release of a report by the DMV Strike Team.

Longtime Cisco Systems Vice President of Technical Services Steve Gordon, 59, of San Jose, will start on Monday as DMV’s new director, Newsom said during a news conference at the state Capitol. After working at Cisco from 1993 to 2011, Gordon founded MySeatFinder in 2008 and was a managing partner at zTransforms from 2018 to 2019.

Kathleen Webb, director of performance improvement at the state Government Operations Agency (GovOps), will become DMV’s chief deputy director, the governor said. GovOps Secretary Marybel Batjer led the Strike Team investigation initiated earlier this year at the governor’s request.

Having laid the groundwork in September, DMV will begin visibly addressing a longstanding service pain point by deploying a pilot to accept credit card payments at its field office in Davis. The pilot will expand in October to three more of DMV’s 172 field offices — in Victorville, Roseville and Fresno.

But Gordon and Newsom both cautioned that deep, lasting modernization to DMV will not be quick.

“We will not modernize the DMV overnight. We will not modernize the department alone. This is going to be a partnership between the dedicated professionals at the DMV, the Governor’s office and the people of California,” Gordon said.

Said Newsom: “If there is a theme now on the topic of this press conference, it’s ‘Underpromise, overdeliver.’ I am not naïve about the challenges of the Department of Motor Vehicles.” 

See Wednesday's Techwire for a complete report.

Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.